It’s time again for the newest edition of our popular “Ask the Expert” feature on The Other Side of Organized blog. We’ve enjoyed wonderful conversations about time management with Julie Morgenstern, clutter with Lorie Marrero, letting go with Geralin Thomas, next steps with Yota Schneider, and change with John Ryan. As we shift our focus this month, I’m excited to bring you the vibrant psychologist and peak performance coach, Dr. Shannon Reece to share her wisdom about motivation.
Shannon and I met through our social media channels about a year ago. Since then, I’ve become a huge fan of hers. She is an incredible social engager, and fabulous sharer of information and resources. I continue to learn from her about business, success, social media and more. My deepest gratitude and thanks goes to her for taking the time to join us. Before we begin, here’s more about Shannon.
Dr. Shannon Reece is a sport psychologist, peak performance expert, and former competitive athlete. She teaches women entrepreneurs and competitive athletes how to leverage their unique assets, and minimize their weaknesses to achieve peak performance. Her websites, educational products and speaking engagements are built around the fundamentals for success which include, putting yourself at the top of your list of highest priorities without guilt, transforming your fear from a liability into an asset, and understanding that being competitive is not about conforming to the status quo. You can connect with Shannon on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, blog, or website.
Linda: You’re an expert on helping women entrepreneurs achieve business success. How does motivation relate to any type of success?
Shannon: Without getting involved in the psychological theories on motivation, what I’ve found working with successful competitive athletes and entrepreneurs is that the core of their motivation most often flows from the desire to experience their fullest potential.
Elite performers are those who are never satisfied with good, but strive for greatness. They don’t envision limits to what they can do, but apply constant dedication and discipline to the development of their greatest strengths to see all that they can be. Many people rarely tap into the gifts with which they were born, being too afraid to see where they might lead. Success is available to everyone. It’s just a matter of pushing past the fear of the “what ifs” to see who you were meant to become. And the motivation to take that leap is often discovered when a person’s dissatisfaction with the status quo of life pushes them beyond the excuses they’ve allowed to hold them back.
Linda: What are your favorite techniques for getting motivated?
Shannon: I teach my clients that garbage in is garbage out. If you eat junk food, don’t rest your body, and fill your mind with completely worthless information you can’t expect to produce your best physically, mentally or emotionally. Getting motivated begins when you make the right choices to enrich your life. For me that means reading things that inspire the right thinking (books, powerful quotes, select newsletters and blog posts), reconnecting daily with my planned purpose (the big WHY I do what I do, and how my actions today get me a few steps closer to my dream), exercise (to get my blood flowing, sweat out toxins, and unlock my creativity), and getting enough rest (when you are exhausted, it’s hard to stay focused and productive).
Linda: It can be challenging to stay motivated. What suggestions do you have if motivation diminishes?
Shannon: When it comes to maintaining motivation day in and day out, you have to keep your eyes focused on the “prize” that is most meaningful for you. For every person this is something different. I challenge my clients to identify their 5 highest priorities – the values that are non-negotiable when it comes to their ideal life. When your daily goals are in alignment with your highest priorities, and you have created a map to keep you on track each week, there’s never a question about what needs to be done next. It’s much easier to maintain your motivation to push through even the toughest business to-dos when they are tied into everything that is important to you.
Linda: Motivation can be internal, external, positive, or negative. Are there pros and cons for each?
Shannon: Focusing on external rewards can lead to disappointment, because outcomes are not always within your direct control. For example, if you are waiting for a lot of sales to motivate you to take the next step in business, and the sales don’t meet your expectations, does that hold you back from focusing on other ways to grow your business? You can’t control who, when, and how people buy. But you can fine-tune the marketing process to give yourself the best opportunity to be successful.
The best kind of motivation is internal and positive. Your motivation needs to start inside and be directly tied to your dreams and your highest priorities. The impetus for ongoing motivation can’t always rest on results, but should focus on the value of the process. There is reward in failure as much as there is in success, and sometimes more. Therefore the ups and downs you experience in the process, the growing pains, and the victories should be examined for the value that lies within. I challenge clients to always look for the silver lining, even in the darkest hours. An opportunistic mindset focused on the process enables you to see what the reactive, outcome-focused business owner cannot, thus putting you ahead of the pack in your niche.
Linda: What has been your biggest personal motivation challenge?
Shannon: The biggest motivational challenge I’ve faced in business has been establishing the right habits and systems, in the right places to reduce the daily load of working in my business, freeing me up to work on the growth of my business. As a one-woman-show, running a business can be overwhelming at times. The more you can create systems to streamline everything you touch, and discipline yourself by developing the right habits in your daily activities, the greater freedom and joy you will experience in the work you do. Your greatness doesn’t lie in the mundane tasks, but in the higher-level thinking that changes the world one life at a time. The sooner you can shift your mindset and operating style to match that challenge, the more you will be motivated to see just how high you can soar.
Thank you, Shannon for your unique perspective and strategies about motivation. Your “garbage in is garbage out” concept resonates with me. This idea emphasizes how the right environment affects our ability to stay motivated and achieve success. Another concept that I love is your idea that ongoing motivation is most successful when it focuses on the value of the process, rather than only on the results.
I invite all of you to join Shannon and me as we continue the conversation. What are your motivation successes or challenges?